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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  March 28, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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>> you can have the last word on our blog. you can follow my tweets. hardball is up next. > supreme importance, let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews back in washington. leading off tonight another 5-4 decision. what if the supreme court votes 5-4 on the individual mandate. either way, the vote goes, people will look at the vote and conclude that this is partisan decision. where is the public decision making these days? liberals are worried about the law's tough day yesterday. and the justice signals that they, that if the mandate goes down, as it looks like it might, the rest of the law would go with it. voting rights and wrongs. we've reported on how republican-led state
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legislatures have made it tougher for people who traditionally vote democratic to simply reng ster and vote. now in florida we're seeing the results. new laws are so onerous down there the league of women voters and rock the vote have abandoned effort to register voters in florida. that's bad news. plus, more evidence of the huge tole the republican primary race is taking. president obama opened up a double-digit lead over romney and santorum in one national poll. another survey has obama leading both republicans in three big swing states. catch these. florida, ohio, and not so much, in pennsylvania. and mind the gender gap. the great frank rich joins us tonight. he says the gop has turned into a stag party. finally, let me finish with a staggering prospect that a 5-4 supreme court could demolish health care, after all that this country put into making it law. we begin at supreme court itself at the building and nbc news justice correspondent pete williams.
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now the third day, is this another bad day for obama-care, if you will? >> reporter: i think it is, chris. it does seem that all of the justices agree that if the insurance requirement is found unconstitutional, some parts of the law have to go. and they probably all agree that two things would go. one is the ban on insurance companies refusing to give coverage for preexisting conditions and the other is a set of rules on when companies how they can set their rates. now, beyond that, i think the safest part of the law are those furthest away from the core of the law. sort of peripheral stuff that congress put on at the end. rules for covering indian tribes. that kind of -- those peripheral things that got stuck on to the bill that were never part of the main mission. they can probably survive. but as you move in closer to the core of the bill, that's where the trouble is. now, there was a party breakdown, or rather by party of appointment i should say among the justices on how they view it.
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the courts for liberal justices said it's not for the court to decide what else should survive. send this wounded critter back to congress and let them decide what to do with it. but conservative justices said that's a hard thing to do to draw the line. we probably should strike most of it down, even though i think they concede parts of it could be maintained. what bothers the conservatives is two points, chris. one is how do you decide which of the thousands of regulations should survive? but the second thing is, at least two of the justices, alito and kennedy, said if we keep other requirements on insurance companies to broaden coverage within but we take away the mandate that would give the insurance companies more money, that would put the insurance companies in a very difficult position. justice kennedy even said that would be some kind of judicial activism if the court were to put insurance companies in that kind of position. one other thing here, the expanded medicaid requirements that are in the health care law, the requirements the states broaden their coverage to give much broader medicaid coverage
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to single individuals under 65 or just above the poverty level. that may be in trouble as well. >> one small point important to people who have young adult children, would the provision requiring insurance companies to keep their young adult children on their plans survive, if the individual mandate goes down? >> reporter: probably not would be my guess. >> and the other point -- >> reporter: that would be considered so close to the mandate that i think if the conservatives get their way, it would go down, too. now, chris, there is a big asterisk here. it could be, and i think, frankly, the best hope for the obama administration is this. that justice kennedy, and perhaps justice roberts will look at this chore of trying to decide well, which part of the law do we strike down? which parts do we save? if we strike down the mandate? we'll look at it and find it so daunting that that will pull them back from their thoughts about whether the court should strike down the mandate and perhaps salvage the law. but i think that's a hope.
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it's a dim hope tonight. >> do you think along those lines that the daunting nature of a 5-4 court striking down something that involved this country in debate for all these presidencies which has been consummated in this long fight among the first two years of the president's presidency, and has had so much heat in it, so much effort to get something through with 60 senators on one side and the majority of the house and president all finally reaching agreement. to take that apart and just demolish it in a narrow 5-4 decision, does that itself perhaps swim intimidate people like justice kennedy from acting? >> reporter: well, you know, i think that's a very good question, and i don't know the answer. but here is a possible scenario. if justice kennedy, who i think is the pivotal vote here, decides the mandate is unconstitutional, if he could be persuade bid liberals to maybe uphold the law, then the
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question is, that would be a 5-4 decision, might justice roberts join him in that to make it 6-3 to keep it as narrow as possible? then you might have a 6-3 vote instead of a 5-4 vote. if it goes the other way i can't see liberals joining on with conservatives to make it anything other than 5-4. so i think it is up to justice kennedy, i think. >> one thing, pete, this is in your bailiwick. this will focus the people to focus a lot more on the presidential to appoint members of the supreme court, the power of this we saw in 2000, now we are seeing it again. it is so powerful, what you are covering there. thank you so much. pete williams, justice correspondent by msnbc news. now we're joined by ezra
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klein, and lee, now a contributor to "gq." let's go to ezra for analysis here. you're one of the most brilliant guys floating around here these days. let's go back to yesterday which i think is probably, if not a bad day in blackrock, in cinematic terms, certainly a dusty day as to what happened. "the new york times" cast it in dire terms for the president. quote, predicting the result in any supreme court case much less one that will define the legacies of a president and a chief justice is nothing like science, and the could still turn in various directions but the available evidence indicated that heart of the affordable care act is in peril. is that your view? >> we are too focused on what happened quote/unquote, yesterday. the solicitor general went in, made arguments that were not received very well. he, himself, had a tough time mustering a lot of force or passion in his presentation. but i thought what really mattered, the place they saw trouble, was in what the justices asked. when kennedy came out in his
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second question, and said, take a premise of this question that what you're doing is completely, completely unprecedented, radically revising the relationship between the citizen and the government. that right there, when did the affordable care act stop beating its wife. not a great way to respond. you have given it all away. not one place i believe, from a moment ago, a lot of folks think if they overturn the mandate they might not overturn the rest of the bill or might only overturn a small set of insurance regulations. if they did that, congress would be faced with a health care bill in which all the money that is going to give people health care insurance is still there. all the $900 billion is still there, but there's not the regulations meant to keep premiums down in the insurance market. that would be quite a mess and insurance industry and other healthcare providers are trying to get congress to fix it somehow which would be possible to do if republicans were willing to do so. >> if you scratch the mandate and insist on denying people the
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right to reject someone because of a pre-existing condition, couldn't somebody with a stage 4 horrific health care threat walk into a hospital and say, here, i want to buy the insurance, you have to sell it to me? maybe that carries it to a ridiculous extent. >> that is exactly what could and would happen to some degree. >> let me go to reid. you're pretty pro obama so i will assume that's your position here, sir. so tell me what you think would happen if the president picked up the newspaper and got the word from pete williams or someone else during midday report from supreme court that on thing he put everything on, pushed aside other matters to focus on this, his main achievement, told by supreme court in a 5-4 ruling based on partisan judges, what would he do? >> you know, i think the strange thing is, chris, i don't think they're plan to wage much of the campaign on health care. despite the fact they just -- >> answer my question, please.
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if he goes down, if the thing he ran on, the thing he worked on so hard got 60 votes in the senate, got to his desk and signed so proudly with everyone there, from, you know, caroline kennedy to everybody was there, and to have that erased from history, you say he wouldn't be focused on that? >> i don't think he'd be pleased. any way you slice it, two weeks ago, one week, four days, you ask anyone coming on the show today, what's the election going to be about? everyone would say this is about the economy, jobs, jobs, jobs. i think by the time we get to election day, no matter what, that's what we're going to be talking about. for obama, listen, did he pour a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this? absolutely. bottom line it, it's a complex piece of legislation. it's hard to explain. tough job for don or everyone else to get up there and distinguish between buying health care or burial insurance, however you want to put it. i just met someone downstairs here at 30 rock who asked who i would be talking about today,
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she said i hate them all. i hate the doctors, the health care system, i don't believe they are in it for me. >> i want you to talk about it. you are giving me a desultry answer. you're a young guy. i want to give you the chance to answer one more time. >> sure. >> will the president say we have to go back into the trenches and try one more time? we have to go with single player, we tried the middle road. will he say the supreme court is totally partisan? will he go after the court, after a more dramatic solution like progressives wanted him to? what will he do? can you tell me? if you don't know, it's fair enough. >> i doubt they run against the court. what do you get from there? either way, if it goes down, how does he orient himself? how does he rally people? the answer is yes. they will feel wounded but i think he will go out there and say, and by the way, we just don't know this will happen, but if it does, he will say look, i heard from you guys, x, y, z,
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you want me to do this. we remember the big applause line in 2008, every single day until election day. >> let me take that tact and go back to ezra. >> can i add to that, chris? >> i got to get to ezra. ezra, it seems to me this is where your mind takes place, where i love your brilliant mind. >> thank you. >> let's think grandly, universal here or cosmically. maybe this a break in a strange way. i'm trying this out now. you know what, ted kennedy tried single payer. it works in germany, in europe, in canada. i tried this other route, heritage foundation here. let's got other way. supreme court ruled in my issue. it says it would be constitutional to have a single payer system. let's go. >> i think there's a real irony here in this. i've spoken to the guy who came up with the individual mandate. stewart buckley and mark polly. depending who you believe.
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both are conservatives, both brought it up as alternative. to single payer. so you're right, if the supreme court takes it off the table, pretty much all that is left is to deal with the problem in health care where sick people come and get insurance and healthy people stay out. is some form of single payer. now, it won't be easy. it won't come in one big bite. it won't come any time soon i don't believe. people who think this would sort of flip to the other side and you'd have medicare for all, there will be 10, 20, 30, 40. we've been able to have a bad health care system for some time. democrats that just went through this say, okay what we do now is expand medicare, medicaid and children's healthcare and do you it year by year. 5 million people here, 10 million here. over time you have the government covering 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 85% of people in the system. you have a de facto system. it's not a great way to move forward. it's not quick and a lot of people are going to hurt in the meantime. in the end, this could be the worst possible thing to happen
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it conservatives. who wanted a free market private sector health care system in the country in a long run. >> so all you need is a bold senate leader, 51 votes, 50 plus the vice president and house majority and the president and can you get it done. thank you. ezra klein. as always, one step ahead of me thinking of reconciliation. reid, please come back. up next, real world results of the republican effort to restrict voting which they are doing everywhere. especially now in the swing state of florida. the new laws down there are so burdensome that even mainstream groups like league of women voters and rock the vote are giving up votes down there. looks like even centrist side is giving up in the wake of this really big push by the right to limit voting in one of our most swing states, florida. this is "hardball." i stepped on the machine, and it showed me the pressure points on my feet and exactly where i needed more support. then, i got my number.
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let's check the "hardball" score board. according to a new poll, santorum's lead is down to two over mitt romney. 30% to 28. not a good sign. last month santorum led by 15% over romney. pennsylvania votes on april 24th along with delaware, new york, and rhode island. all favorable for romney. looks like rick can't even hold pennsylvania. [ female announcer ] here in california, our schools need help.
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welcome back to florida. i was going to say welcome back to florida, but welcome back to florida. there are restrictions in florida that they say will lead to significant drop-offs. among other things the new law dramatically narrows the window that third parties give to submit completed party register forms. without facing a fine, that is. before the law, we had ten days. now there are 48 hours to bring the votes in. rock the vote suspended voting in florida.
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what is the confidence? "the new york times" looked at number of registers compared to the same period before the 2008 election. they found nearly 81,500 fewer floridians were registered to vote this time. does the law go too far? leonard curry is the chair of the florida republican party. thanks for joining us. judith, advancement project voter rights organization. let me ask right off the bat, is it good for america to have fewer voters voting? isn't that itself a prima facia case, you are getting tough there on the process of registering, doing what have you a right to do, vote? >> we want people to vote. look, i come from a business background. i was in the jobs business staffing and executive recruiting. in my company we had a governance program in place that made sure there were no errors, no omissions, no mistakes and no fraud.
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and that would be unacceptable in voting. that's simply what this law does. it's good governance. >> let me ask judith, get the back and forth on this. 48 hours now to bring -- i have grown up. people out in front of safeways, you signed up to vote. >> that's right. >> under this new law, you have to have to form in within two days. if you don't, you pay a $10,000 fine in florida. if you register -- what is it? >> it's 50 per -- for the first few applications then it goes up to $10,000. >> let me get to the point here. if you don't turn it in on time, you get fined. if you can't get it in two days, by the way, saturday, when you get it in. >> right. >> sunday night? >> right. you can imagine volunteers for the league of women voters, who has been doing voter registration for 45 years in florida, saying we don't want to be subject to those fines because we didn't turn it in. and they are counting down to
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the minute. the larger context of voter suppression that's been carried out by the gop this year. >> respond to that. is it responsible to expect a person to show up within 48 hours with registration forms they just had filled out, say, over a weekend? >> absolutely. again, it's good governance. before the law, any group could go out anywhere, register voters, sit on the voter registration forms for unlimited amount of time. the individual that registered to vote would have no idea whether or not "a" their voter registration was submitted and if the right party was submitted, so this comes back to it's just good governance to make sure that people who register to vote know that their vote's there and they can go vote and their vote will count. >> well, it still seems to be a problem if you have 48 hours to get something in mechanically. say it is 10:00 saturday morning in front of safeway. you get the person's signature down. you're ready to register.
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if you don't show up by monday morning at 10:00, right? >> right. >> you have a fine facing you. >> and the story in "the new york times" highlighted the naacp being hit by this and getting a letter from the secretary of state. that was over the weekend of the martin luther king's birthday. but again it is important to put this in context. not only did the republican party in florida roll back in terms of voter registration they also come back on early voting. so this is part of the bigger scheme of what's happening across the country. >> let's go to that. mr. curry. why is it important to reduce from 14 to 8. how does that reduce corruption or take away from the integrity of the progress? >> a couple of things. republicans are in fact the ones in florida that gave us early voting. democrats when they had control did nothing to make voting easier. the other thing is -- >> respond to my question, why is it important to close the window of opportunity to vote? >> the supervisors of elections, republicans and democrats, have said that that sunday before the
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tuesday election, that they need adequate time to get ready for tuesday. that's the feedback that the legislature got in crafting this law. >> isn't it true that a lot of african-americans go to register to vote on sunday after going to church? that's a pattern that the republican party would like to squash. isn't it a partisan concern? >> it's called take your souls to the polls. >> explains how it works. >> on the last sunday before election day, black churches throughout the state of florida had a campaign where they would go and caravan to the polling place after church. it is that one sunday cut out by the florida legislature which again targets these laws we have to understand impact black and latino voters and young voters. those who turned out in record numbers in 2008. now they rolled it back so it is cutting off the participation of that group. >> you think your party had any of that role in the decision to try to get rid of that sunday? voting opportunity? mr. curry?
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>> the supervisor of elections, again, from both parties indicated that they needed the time, two days, before that tuesday. look, i want to see everybody that's registered to vote given the opportunity to vote. there's plenty of time and plenty of opportunity to vote. >> but you didn't answer my question, sir. i don't want to grill you here except to ask an obvious everybody watching can hear me ask. you had an opportunity under the law before, 14 days for early voting down there. we know the pattern of early voting changed over the years. it used to be used for people who had money and traveled a lot. and then republicans benefited from that. later on when minorities began to vote early because they had transportation challenges facing them, we all know that. they can't just get in the car in many cases. they need help to do it. they need the window. the minute your party saw this benefiting democrats you got rid the traveling americans and wealthy people. why did you get rid of it when they were utilizing?
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the 14-day -- >> i don't buy that premise, chris. >> you said a minute ago that you liked to have more people voting. then why did you close the window? >> i just explained why on that sunday -- >> why two weeks? why reducing from 14 to 8? >> election officials do not like reducing the number of hours because they have to pay overtime to people. so this is really about this partisan effort. it's nothing but that. >> i only want one answer. you said you want it increase the amount of voting in your state. i'm sure you believe in that in principle. in practice, why are you reducing the number of days from 14 to 8 in early voting? >> the law requires total hours that the offices have to be open for early voting are the same. it gives different counties flexibility in terms of what those hours are. actual total hour access to voting is exactly the same. there's no change.
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chris, i know you really don't believe that we want to suppress minorities from voting. >> well, i'm trying to find out. because the trouble is, mr. curry, i look at the pattern in every state legislature and inevitably it's republicans who want to reduce the opportunity to vote in every state. it's always the same pattern. i'll throw it back to you for a quick response. why is it your party that always wants to raise the barrier to voting, consistently across the country? in this particular period of time. maybe not 20 years ago but right now you want it to be harder for poor people, harder for minorities to vote. why is that? >> i don't buy that premise. we want got governance. we want to make sure every vote counts and people are properly registered. >> i think abraham lincoln agreed with that principle. we're going to continue arguing this because this is always an issue. judith, thank you. leonard curry, thank you for coming in. chairman of the republican party in florida. we're coming back with the "sideshow."
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ha! back to "hardball." now for the "sideshow." first up, vp joe biden has been launched in campaign the last few weeks. here he is in iowa with a few zingers for the republican field. >> mitt romney has been remarkably consistent. as an investor businessman, as the governor of massachusetts, and now as candidate for president. remarkably consistent. and i respectfully suggest consistently wrong. governor romney called the president of the united states out of touch. that's a quote. out of touch. for encouraging young people to try to get manufacturing jobs. out of touch? romney?
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conventional wisdom, that manufacturing is dead in this country, is dead wrong. one thing that can bring this to a screeching halt is turning over the keys to the white house to santorum or romney. >> wow, noticeably missing from that speech, any mention of newtster. the newt gingrich candidacy forgotten. the former speaker has begun to look like a former candidate. and finally new jersey governor chris christie is looking for star power to provide a boost to a new casino in atlantic city. by the way, all they need is a new casino. he is looking at bruce springsteen. he knows about the blue collar progressive politics but still made a pitch to the rock 'n' roll legend, anyway. >> i would make a direct plea to bruce now. he's missed out on the opportunity to open this place, because beyonce has picked up the mantle on that. when he gets off the summer part of his tour, he doesn't have anything announced yet for labor day weekend.
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i think labor day weekend at revel for bruce springsteen would be an incredible show of support for his home state. >> springsteen is yet to rsvp. big leads in the key swing states of florida, ohio and pennsylvania. of course, whoever wins those three wins it all.
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welcome back to "hardball." we've been saying for some time that the contentious republican primary race is taking its toll on the candidates. the republican candidates. now we have more evidence of that. president obama is looking much stronger in the 2012 matchups against mitt romney and rick santorum if that matters. let's go to the hard "hardball" scoreboard. according to the org poll among registered voters nationwide, the president leads mitt romney by 11. look at that number. that's about as good as it's ever been. 11 points there. and against rick santorum to 13 as if that matters. 55-42. that race will never occur. now look at key states where
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obama a building his lead. president beating romney 44-42. he also wins against santorum of course 50-37. here's a key. a regularly republican state, obama beats romney 47. 41. if he wins there, he probably wins it all right from that. a similar margin facing rick santorum, 47-40 in ohio. key race here. pennsylvania, tighter. obama still leads. he tops romney 45-42. that's margin of error stuff. 45-42. very close. rick santorum who's from pennsylvania, 48-41. john heilman is national affairs editor for "new york" magazine. the great joe klein is "time" magazine's political columnist of record. joe, i want to start with you. look at these numbers. i guess all of the numbers look good for obama though. i have somewhat chasened by the pennsylvania number. that looks like within the margin of error. i think romney has appeal with those philly and pittsburgh
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suburbs. >> yeah. and he probably has appeal in the center of the state too in those smaller communities and i think james carville once said that pennsylvania was philadelphia and pittsburgh separated by alabama. >> yeah. >> so, you know, it's interesting that that's closer than the other two. but i got to remind you that at this point, in 1992, i think bill clinton was running behind ross perot. these are certainly great numbers across the board for obama and certainly reflect how dismayed the public is with the republican party at this point in the ridiculous race they've been running. but this could change in a heartbeat. >> so you're taking our -- showing a wiser view, our expert here at nbc view, that it's too early to call this national election?
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>> you know, i think we have to at least -- you know, romney has two or three more opportunities to introduce himself to the public. >> is that your view, general? is that your overall view, john heilman, it's too early to call? i just think the election could go all kind of directions based on the economy, gas prices, based on iran, thanks things like that. >> sure. and the etch-a-sketch comments made last week, he will get to reboot his campaign a couple times in the future, as joe said, as he gets out of his nomination, secures it, as he goes to his convention and makes his choice of a running mate. there are things in the polls if you look more deeply that there are things that romney campaign is concerned about and should be concerned about. what is driving the situation in florida and ohio in particular, all of barack obama's margin is among female voters. he's ahead by about 14 points i believe in both those states. that is a concern the romney campaign has. one of the things that happened in the nomination fight is he is hurt with that constituency.
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we have seen polling previous to this that shows just how wide the margin is between barack obama and mitt romney now with hispanics. it's yawning, right? fox news had obama at 70 and romney at 14. those numbers will not stay the same but the damage he suffered with key constituencies, things he can fix but he's going to have to fix. you can't win if you lose women by 14 and hispanics by 66. >> we're going to get more into the woman issue as we get later in the show. look at this point here, joe. more bad news for mitt romney along the lines, john mentioned. the "washington post"/abc poll. national poll among registered voters. look at this. 52% have unfavorable impression of romney. just 36 people are favorable. just about a third of voters feel good about him. the president is in much better shape at 53% favorable, 45% unfavorable. let's talk about the 36% favorable for romney. how does he get it to 50%? is it doable?
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>> well, he has to redefine himself. the one obvious way for him to go. i mentioned ross perot before. that's the way for him to go. to emphasize the things he's good at, like management. say that the federal government is a mess, which it is. talk about things like the dodd/frank financial reform bill which is a mess. and promise to run a tighter ship and a more humane one than the president's doing. i think that that's the only direction he can go in at this point. >> is it possible, i want it start with john and back to you on that, joe. joe raised a powerful point. can a challenger like, say kennedy kid back in '60, in this time when there's so much cable, so much super pac money, can he define a theme like kennedy said, we have to get this country moving again, we're drifting. we're losing our step from world war ii. can romney say the issue is competence on the economy? i think that's all that is. >> what happens in the national economy.
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certainly that's what they wanted to run on. for all of 2011 when the economy was still in shambles, mitt romney made all that argument. all he did last year was talk about barack obama. he didn't talk about his republican rivals much. he talked about his experience. how he'd be better on the economy. if the economy falters, it's still not booming now, but if it falters over the summer into the fall, he's going to be in a good position to make that argument coupled with the reform argument of the kind joe's talking about. he can craft something. he's going to have to find some themes. that one of the things he haven't done in this nomination, find big themes. bury it up to his biography in a powerful way. >> i have one for him, joe. if the supreme court rules the individual mandate is unconstitutional, don't attack him the usual way that he's the devil or unconstitutional, he violated his oath of office. that's too extreme. say he wasted a year and a half of time on the wild goose chase.
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couldn't come up with a bill that could pass muster with a dividing court. he wasted time, the guy is not up to the job. can romney make that case if he does it just that way. >> the best case for romney to make that case is to say, okay, obama blew it. now we have to figure out a way to manage this runaway system. we're just going to drive ourselves into debt. you know, the thing about romney is when he came out of the chute, emphasizing managerial capabilities and economy, he was a good candidate. amazing thing about romney, his stump speech and whole persona have gotten worse as he's gone on. >> yes. why doesn't he hire a jim baker, somebody that knows how to discipline him? thank you, john heilman, joe klein. the election is too early to call no matter how passionate you are. up next, how the republican party has made a serious problem with itself with women. going into depth in this, frank rich joins us next on "hardball."
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illinois primary last week. he lacks any obvious regional or ideological base in the party. this is what the end looks like. wow for chris cillizza.
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we're back. beginning in 1980 with the reagan/carter presidential race, we started to hear a new term in american politics, gender gap. simply put, women began to vote more for democrats then and men more for republicans. democrats have counted on women's votes ever since. in 2010, for example, the gender gap disappeared and so did democrats in all those races across the country. they were swept out of office in the house and this year democrats are eager for a return to the gap, hoping that the
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controversy over contraception, for instance, will bring women back into the fold. frank rich is a greater writer and residence. inform, his title is writer at large for new york magazine. he writes in his latest piece that the gop has a serious problem with women. that's no surprise, frank, but you're the best at this. i want you to look at this history and explain it, because i think your piece does it. let's take a look now. we've done the work to back up your piece. look at this, how women have voted in recent presidential elections. the graphic shows how over the past four decades with, the democrats share the women's votes, shown here in blue, as generally increased. at the same time, the percentage of women voting for republicans, those are the bars in red, has decreased. of course, the opposite is true for men. they've been voting more and more republican over the same period. frank, explain. >> well, what's happened is that there's really been a republican war on with women that began in the early 1970s. we first saw it towards the tail end of the nixon administration,
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before roe v. wade was decided or abortion was an issue, and nixon, who was generally progressive about women's issues suddenly vetoed a child care bill on part of the grounds that women shouldn't be working. that they were sort of -- should stay at home with their guy. and it was -- i think it was a deliberate intent in those days of the gop to exploit the backlash against the feminist movement in the same way they used the southern strategy at the same time to exploit the black -- the backlash against the african-american civil rights movement. ever since then -- >> that was kind of dumb, wasn't it? >> yeah. >> let me ask you with about reagan, because i think we both agree that reagan was the first one to really display about people how reacted to him. an eight-point differential between how women and men viewed him. >> it was kind of counterintuitive, because reagan was such a genial guy, but by hen the religious right was
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beginning to get a stranglehold. abortion and choice was becoming more of an issue and that would escalate throughout the 1980s. and as you know, chris, reaching its culmination in the 1992 houston convention, which was really kind of a freak show for the anti-feminist, anti-choice right. >> yeah, well, marlin quayle played a big role in that, basically arguing the old one of how women are related to men. >> and dan quayle, the sitting vice president, ran against murphy brown, a fictional cbs sitcom character, because she was too independent -- remember that? >> well, i remember it now that you bring it back, you regurgitate it. >> a nightmare. >> let me try something on you. let me try some nuance. not everything is simple. there seems to be sensibility, the way men act differently to different women. it seems like certain male candidates haven't been offensive to women, even if
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they're from the right side of the tracks. for example, george herbert walker bush, he didn't do badly in '92 against bill clinton with women voters. i'm thinking of other examples of this. it didn't seem to strike me as a big differential every time, in every case. >> maybe so. george h.w. bush was, again, a genial guy, although you remember the gag at the time was that he reminded american women of their first husband. >> that's not a good memory. he also said something offensive about his debate with jonie -- didn't he say, i kicked her butt or something ridiculous afterwards? >> he knew better than that. >> he was trying to act like a reagan republican, i think. >> the pork rinds and all the rest of it. but in '92, it was the year of the woman, and the key thing there was that women took all these democratic seats in the senate and they were all democrats. and that was something that bush could not overcome. there was a tide following the anita hill hearings and
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following the rise of hillary clinton, who would then become first lady, and who attracted all sorts of vitriolic attacks, a lot of them misogynist from the right. >> you are a great liberal, and i mean that in the most positive way and i think you've accepted it that way. you're very good on gay rights, you're ahead of me on that one, although i think i've very much caught up. i think getting these awards, so is my wife. but let's talk about women and the glass ceiling, where it's going to break. hillary clinton came very close with the incredible number of votes she got in 2000 -- in 2008. this time around, who are you looking for? anybody, claire mccaskill? amy klobuchar? anybody coming up that could break in or is hillary clinton going to be the candidate in 2016? >> i can't predict who will be the candidate in 2016 and with hillary clinton, i don't know what to make of it. but all the examples, claire mccaskill, there's some incredibly talented and brilliant women politicians, almost all of them in the democratic party, at least at the high level.
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and i'm sure one will break through. i think the glass ceiling is far from permanent in the presidential race in this country. >> good for you, frank. you're a great writer. we love you. you're now with "new york" magazine. thanks for this piece. when we return, let me finish with the prospect that the supreme court could actually overturn health care by one vote. imagine what that's going to do if that happens. one person deciding something we've all been fighting about for centuries, it seems. you're watching "hardball." what makes the sleep number store different? the sleep number bed. the magic of this bed is that you're sleeping on something that conforms to your individual shape. wow! that feels really good. it's hugging my body. in less than a minute i can get more support. if you change your mind once you get home you can adjust it. so whatever you feel like, the sleep number bed's going to provide it for you. at our semi-annual sleep sale, save $400 to $700 on our most popular bed sets. sale ends march 31st. only at the sleep number store, where queen mattresses start at just $699.
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let me finish tonight with this. the supreme court stands on the verge of changing american political history. the fate of what the president proposed, what the congress debated, what was written into law is now to be decided by a single justice. this will be hard to take. we, the american people, who have invested in an extraordinary amount of argument on this matter. on the left, the fight has been waged between those who wanted a public option and were willing to risk the whole health care mesh for it and those who thought it was better to get what was gettable and not risk getting nothing. well, now the prospect of getting just that looms over the authorize. by june, we may get a ruling from the court across the lawn that all this sturm and drang had been waisted. the reaction on the right could take two courses. one, it would been an out and out charge against the president that he violated the constitution, that he resorted to a terrible historic abuse of his office by shoving through a measure which violates his oath of office.
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it is not only unconstitutional, they would say, he is. it would be seized upon like fdr's court packing as a presidential overreach and deemed worthy of presidential overreach. and mitt romney would be perfect for this role, the accuse obama wasting a year and a half of his early presidency on a wild goose chase, wasting those valuable early months in the country's history to work a bipartisan challenge to the country's economic crisis. either way, it will be hard for the president to review a rejection of his number one legislative achievement as anything less than a body blow to his work since being elected in that historic battle of 2008. so here we go into a brutal period of deliberation. by june, we will know whether justice kennedy, justice anthony kennedy has given approval to the affordable health care bill or not. we'll know what the fight will be like between june and november. it will be far better for the president if the supreme court approves what he's done, far better for the country. we'll have to see what comes o